The 2021 MINI 3-door, 5-door and Convertibles have landed in Mzansi. Along with a style revamp there’s unexpected pricing news, particularly around the Cooper SE EV. The new models are already on local dealerships as you read this, the changes are predominantly to the design and trim, along with the technology and creature comforts you get when you’re in the car.
A MINI has always looked like, well, a MINI, but the 2021 model year brings one of the bigger changes in aesthetic we’ve seen from the brand. The front bumper and grille, the side scuttles behind the front fenders, the wheel arches, and the rear bumper have all been changed, and there are tweaks to the door handles, badging, fuel filler cap, and exhaust pipes.
Most noticeable is the change to the bumper, with the grille insert now body-colour rather than black. LED headlamps are standard, along with Union Jack taillamps. MINI has also removed the fog lamps, replacing their functionality with a new headlamp element it’s referring to as the “bad weather light” that’ll also be standard.
The other big change is the Multitone roof option on the 2022 MINI 3 and 5 doors. The automaker points out that it popularized the contrast-finish roof idea, something other car companies have since adopted. Now, it’s jumping ahead to this blended finish version, which transitions through light blue, dark blue, and black. MINI makes it by spraying on the different colour paints while they’re all still wet, creating a unique gradient on each car.
There is also a Gloss Black package, with piano black exhaust finishers and the rest of the exterior chrome switched for black trim instead. New wheels are being added to the range, and there’ll be three new colours available. Rooftop Grey and Zesty Yellow are brand new, while Island Blue was previously only available on the Countryman.
Familiar but new is the same theme inside the 2022 MINI range. There’s a new steering wheel design, with a Union Jack element at the lower spoke, and for the first time it’s available with heating too. There’s new upholstery options, including a cloth leatherette in black pearl with a light checkered finish.
The dashboard has new surfacing and vents, and there’s new door decor. More importantly, features like SiriusXM are now standard, as is the freshly-introduced lane departure warnings. The Cooper SE’s digital instrument cluster is now standard across all of the 2022 models, as is the 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen, replacing the old 6.5-inch version. The system gets new software and an updated interface with different UI modes, too.
Sadly, it’s not all good news. Apple CarPlay is still an option, included in the Navigation Package. MINI says that’s because it requires different hardware, which is only installed when the nav option is fitted, but considering other automakers are making both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard – including MINI owner BMW, which has been pushing wireless versions of Apple’s system too – that seems like a milquetoast excuse.
The new MINI 3-door, the MINI 5-door, the MINI Convertible pricing starts at R420 000 for the 3-door while the SE starts at R658 000.
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